The six interprofessional organizations that represent the Spanish livestock-meat sector (ASICI, AVIANZA, INTERCUN, INTEROVIC, INTERPORC AND PROVACUNO) have demonstrated their unity of action and commitment to value and defend the interests of the entire chain and guarantee its sustainability and economic, environmental and social resilience to contribute to the recovery and stability that Spain needs to face future challenges. 

Within the framework of two of the most representative events for the sector, FIGAN 2021, the International Fair for Animal Production held in Zaragoza, and the 21st Aecoc Congress of Meat and Processed Products taking place in Lleida, Javier López has participated and Alberto Herranz representing the six interprofessional organizations and have defended that «only together can we face the challenges and opportunities that the sector will experience in the coming years within the framework of Strategies such as From Farm to Fork or the Next Generation EU European Funds, as well as important phenomena such as climate change or the demographic challenge. ». 

Javier López has indicated in FIGAN that «the six interprofessionals of the chain, from a leadership position in the sector, have joined forces in an unprecedented collaboration in our economic field to assume new commitments that act in favor of the economic and social reconstruction of Spain and contribute to overcoming the common challenges. 

For his part, Alberto Herranz has stated at the Aecoc Congress that the livestock-meat chain is an important ecosystem that generates opportunities and we seek to make it even more so. «Across the country, two million people live off the livestock-meat chain, with the majority present in rural areas, in many municipalities with less than 5,000 inhabitants that are the most affected by depopulation. Livestock farming contributes more than 15,000 million euros to agricultural production, while the meat industry invoices more than 26,000 million euros, which places it as the leader of the entire food sector with 22.6% of the total, and a contribution to the country's trade balance with around 9,000 million euros of exports", ha 

highlighted Herranz, concluding that "All of us who are part of the livestock-meat chain are committed to contributing to the economic progress of our country." 

The scope of the sector ranges from the international to the local, since the maintenance of livestock farming in rural areas generates economic activity at the local level through the more than 400,000 active livestock farms and the companies installed in the territory, in many times, in municipalities with less than 5,000 inhabitants, which are in a particularly serious situation as a consequence of depopulation, which makes it a fundamental agent for the structuring of the territory and for facing depopulation. 

Exemplarity and commitment of the sector to stability 

The Spanish agri-food sector, with the livestock-meat sector at the forefront, has demonstrated throughout the pandemic period that it acts with a sense of State to ensure the availability of products for the entire population. 

After the long period of pandemic, the time has come for economic recovery, in which public and private entities must collaborate together for the economic and social progress of the country. And the livestock-meat chain expresses its commitment to the transformation of the entire value chain to increase its competitiveness, economic and environmental sustainability, as well as its digitalization capabilities, as we can see in the development of the next agri-food PERTE that will be designed by the Government of Spain in close collaboration with the sector and the chain. 

In this sense, public policies play a fundamental role in the reactivation of different sectors, such as the agri-food sector, which, after great efforts in recent years, need to have a stable context to advance their activities. To maintain export capacity and productivity, it is essential to maintain a stable fiscal framework, avoiding distorting effects on the entire meat chain, which would lead to regressive impacts, reducing income by several hundred million euros, and presenting a clearly regressive by taxing especially the lowest income households. 

Commitment to food systems, sustainability and health 

The six interprofessional organizations in the livestock-meat chain work on the challenges and goals to be achieved in our sector to address the best possible solutions and proposals for the future with consensus and commitment. 

The chain wants to continue contributing to environmental and food systems sustainability, as they have stated within the framework of the UN Food Systems Summit, which will take place tomorrow. 

Livestock-meat production is a fundamental and irreplaceable pillar of the World Food System, and it is also essential as a protector and conservative of the numerous models of biodiversity and natural and cultural heritage that we have in Spain. 

The livestock-meat sector is part of the solution to environmental challenges, aware that like any human activity, its activity has an environmental footprint. And at the same time, the sector states that, as the official data of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge itself shows, livestock farming is not the main responsible for climate change, representing only 7.8% of total carbon emissions. greenhouse gases (GHG) of our country, while the sectors linked to the production and use of energy generate almost three quarters of these GHGs. 

To face environmental challenges, the chain has been working for a long time and investing great resources, talent and innovation to achieve a sustainable, circular livestock production model, aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and neutral in emissions, developing new production techniques. production with a lower environmental impact at all points of production. 

There is no doubt about the importance and need for environmentally sustainable food to be produced, but also for such food to be healthy, affordable and equitable. The sector works to promote healthy, varied and balanced diets that include vegetables and products of animal origin such as meat, following the consumption recommendations expressed by Spanish and international agencies, such as the WHO, which establishes that "foods of animal are the best sources of high-quality nutrients.” 

Diets that contain a base of fruits and vegetables and that include adequate consumption of meat, an inseparable product of the Mediterranean diet and that is part of our gastronomic and social culture, and that provides the population with proteins at an affordable price and with high nutritional value, in addition to numerous minerals and vitamins, such as iron, phosphorus, zinc, potassium, selenium, magnesium, or vitamin B12, which allow us to stay healthy. 

Commit to sustainability and digitalization and commitment to the territory 

An important project for the future is being developed in the livestock-meat chain to strengthen competitiveness, proposing investments in the areas of sustainability, digitalization and the circular economy. 

To this end, more than 1,600 companies and ranchers, 73.6% of which are SMEs, coordinated under the six interprofessional organizations of the chain, have committed more than 5.1 billion euros in a project linked to European funds, which has received the recognition of the Ministries of Industry and Agriculture as the best private project received by the Government, for its ambition in the ecological and digital transformation that it will mean for the sector. 

This project will reduce the carbon footprint by 30% for final products and will achieve milestones such as lowering ammonia levels by 28%, the water footprint by 18%, energy consumption on farms by 38% and in meat industries by a 22% and limit the use of feed in a 15%. 

This project will also strengthen territorial cohesion and the promotion of Rural Spain, since it will have a significant impact on all Spanish Autonomous Communities, especially in small municipalities. 

And in this sense, the six interprofessional organizations of the chain have also launched the Municipal Livestock-Meat Network, which is constituted as a forum in which Spanish municipalities with a relevant presence of livestock-meat activity can share concerns, challenges and opportunities, giving them the prominence they deserve in the national debate and defending the commitments of the sector, which have such a positive impact on these territories, generating activity, employment and establishing the population in small nuclei. We must not forget that in Spain the chain places more than half of its activity in municipalities with less than 5,000 inhabitants. 

To this end, a collaboration agreement has been signed with the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP) that will provide the Network with support, dissemination and promotion capacity, and numerous city councils in regions such as Extremadura, Cantabria, Andalusia, Murcia, Galicia or Castilla-La Mancha is already formalizing its participation in this project. 

ASICI. The Interprofessional Association of the Iberian Pig brings together producers and processing industries of Iberian products. 

AVIANZA. The Spanish Interprofessional Poultry Meat Association brings together both farms and production centers as well as cutting and processing plants. 

INTERCUN. The Interprofessional Organization to promote the Rabbit Sector integrates representatives of the production branch and rabbit meat processing-marketing companies. 

INTEROVIC. The Interprofessional Organization of Sheep and Goat Meat represents the producers of this livestock branch and the industrialists and marketers who generate and distribute the derived products. 

INTERPORC. The Interprofessional Agri-Food Organization of White-Capped Pigs represents all sectors of the white-capped pork value chain: production, processing and marketing. 

PROVACUNO. The Interprofessional Agri-Food Organization of Beef is made up of the main organizations of the production sector and the processing/marketing sector.